Can nutrition rating systems be used in supermarkets to encourage healthier spending habits?
A new study by Cornell University researchers sought to answer that very question by tracking the purchasing records in a supermarket chain that uses the Guiding Stars System to rate the nutritional value of foods for sale.
The researchers, including Cornell Food and Brand Lab's David Just, PhD, and Brian Wansink PhD, author of Slim by Design (forthcoming), studied the sales records of over 150 Hannaford Supermarkets in the Northeastern United States between January 2005 and December 2007.
They collected data from over 60,000 Guiding Star rated food items. The Guiding Stars System brands items with zero, one, two or three star rating (with three stars being the most nutritious).
The amount of beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins and whole grains, are taken into account along with the amount of innutritious ingredients such as trans-fat or added sugars, both of which affect the nutritional rating of that item.
Researchers found that sales of less healthy foods – such as highly processed snack foods – fell by 8.31% when branded with a nutrition rating while the percentage of healthy food purchases rose by 1.39%.
The authors also noticed that the use of the Guiding Stars system led to an overall decline in supermarket sales. However, this is mainly due to the reduced amount of purchased "junk food."
According to lead author John Cawley, PhD, the decline in the sales of the less healthy foods was "perhaps the leading catalyst for the trend toward more nutritious food purchases." Previous studies may have not noticed this trend because they focused only on sales of foods with higher nutrition ratings.
Researchers concluded that nutrition rating systems, such as the Guiding Star system, may be worthwhile as they seem to lead consumers to purchase less "junk food" in favor of healthier options.
Sandra Cuellar | Eurek Alert!
Risk-taking propensity changes, especially in young adulthood and in older age
29.01.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
Designing a pop-up future
27.01.2016 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...
Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.
Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...
NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.
Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...
The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
05.02.2016 | Life Sciences
05.02.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy